Skip to main content

john mccain, thumbs up, department of lobbyists, photoshop, ethics reform, corruption, keating five

Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain introduced a sweeping ethics reform proposal today that included the creation of a new Department of Lobbyists to expedite service to major donors in a speech before the Chamber of Commerce in Velva, North Dakota.

The text of his speech follows:

 

My friends, I have said many times that I am a maverick who is not afraid to take my colleagues in the Senate to task for their lack of ethics, whichever party they belong to. The problem of how those in Congress relate to big business and corporations is shameful.

   Everyday, corporations or wealthy individuals will make contributions to our campaigns and our shell foundations and PACs , or even give high paying jobs to our wives or children, fully expecting tax or regulatory relief, government contracts, or even subsidies in return.

   Too often though, elected officials fail to keep their end of the bargain. They make half-hearted attempts to service their donors, then abandon even that effort if some newspaper or website starts to ask questions. Worse, some don't even make the effort in the first place, pretending that the donation was given out of some idealistic agreement with a candidates ideology, not a fee for service.

   My friends, there is a word for not doing what you are paid to do, and that word is FRAUD.

   Those in Congress must be held accountable and must be forced to do their patriotic duty for those who supported them financially.

   Therefore, I will create a new Department of Lobbyists that will exist solely to expedite service to political donors. They will keep a central database of donations and inform donors of the level of service their donation entitles them to, from a letter to a regulator telling them to back off, to five senators showing up at the regulators office to give him an attitude adjustment.

   This will also make life easier for lobbyists. Currently, to seek favors, they have to visit each and every politician they will need on their side, wine and dine them, or provide escorts of their preferred gendered. With the new Department of Lobbyists, they will only have to make ONE stop. The DOL will then give the marching orders to the relevant congressmen and senators.

   The Department will also serve a valuable function for retiring legislators. We all look forward to working as consultants, lobbyists, CEO's, and board members for our past donors when we leave office, but actually negotiating for the job can be awkward and time consuming. There is nothing more embarassing than asking for a CEO job when a defense contractor thinks you only rate a couple of paychecks as a consultant. Just as there will be a set schedule of expected favors for past donations, there will be a set schedule of after-office jobs for favors done in office. If an elected official has his heart set on a certain position but hasn't done enough favors to qualify for it, the Department could tell him how to make up for his shortcomings.

   The best person to run this new department would of course be a lobbyist. Any number of the members of my campaign staff would be qualified to be Secretary of Lobbyists, but for his outstanding service in inciting the Georgia-Russia conflict, Randy Scheunemann, a lobbyist for Georgia, has shown himself to be head and shoulders above his peers.

   My own story with the Keating Five should be a tragic reminder of why this new department is needed. Savings & Loan owner Charles Keating made good faith donations to myself and four other senators, fully expecting that we could end a regulatory fishing expedition into his business practices. Because there was no streamlined process, we failed to intervene soon enough or thoroughly enough to protect Mr. Keating from eventual criminal charges.

   If we had the Department of Lobbyists to help us help Mr. Keating, he might have retired to Bermuda to live off of kickbacks from loans he gave his friends, who had no intention of repaying, which left depositors holding the bad. Instead, he ended up in prison.

   My friends, if I am elected, the Department of Lobbyists will be just the beginning of my ethics reform. If I have to, I will go to the gates of Hell to serve my donors, whether they are trying to outsource jobs, loot their employees pensions, pollute the air and water with coal or nuclear plants, or secure oil reserves in some God-forsaken Middle Eastern backwater.

   That is the way America is supposed to work, and under a McCain presidency, that is how it WILL work, so help me God.

Originally posted to Professor Smartass on Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 02:16 AM PDT.

Poll

Is a "Department of Lobbyists" to service major campaign donors a good idea?

33%3 votes
11%1 votes
44%4 votes
11%1 votes

| 9 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site